Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Megill, My Beating Heart

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs LAD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

There were plenty of remarkable performances on Tuesday and Tylor Megill may be the one that carries the most weight after a brilliant shutout performance of 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches. No, he didn’t earn a Win (lol Mets), but the skills, the skills were a huge win in my book.

In short, he featured a strong four-seamer with elite extension that needed to find its way upstairs and Megill was able to keep the pitch in the upper half far more than usual, helping it return a ridiculous 30% called strike rate along with five whiffs. We’ll take that all day at 96 mph, and there’s still room to grow.

The secondaries did their part, mostly in the form of sliders and cutters, which took the role of the Canibal McSanchez instead of sitting down-and-gloveside as we’d ideally want them to. However, they worked and played off the heater well. It really does go a long way when Megill throws strikes and prevents his four-seamer from sneaking into the bottom half of the zone.

It puts us in an interesting position – with the Diamondbacks up next, is this enough to add Megill and let it ride? I’m leaning in favor, especially with coats of polish still waiting to be applied. Just get that dang heater upstairs and keep it there.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Max Fried (ATL) vs WSN (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s his fifth start of his last seven going 7+ IP. Sure, the strikeouts aren’t as plentiful as you want (where are the whiffs y’all? I’m looking at you slider and cutter going 0/18…) but he’s getting Wins and securing your ratios. The strikeouts will come.

Gavin Stone (LAD) @ NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.

It was a day of Stone hurling everything into the zone with confidence, as one should against the Mets. Do I think his sliders and cutters are particularly special? No, not really. Do I still like him for easy matchups including Rockie Road up next? Absolutely.

Matt Waldron (SDP) vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 85 pitches.

Look, I say Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer and for the most part, yeah, you can’t trust Waldron. But hot dang, he’s feeling his 79 mph knuckleball, which was lively like Ben as it returned 11/47 whiffs and a 77% strike rate. That’s three straight starts of dominating with the pitch and it certainly feels like we have to Vargas Rule this one. But who does he have next? It doesn’t matter – if the knuckler is on, it’s on. Okay fine it’s the Angels, BUT THE POINT STANDS.

Zack Littell (TBR) vs OAK (L) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! We saw prime Littell in this one, not because his sliders were actually well spotted (down-and-gloveside a ton!), but because his splitter showed up in a major way. We’re talking 39% CSW with 9/28 whiffs and legit command of the pitch. If this is the Littell we always get (just 26% fastballs!), I’d have him much higher in the ranks. Sadly, it’s hard to test the waters with the Orioles up next – if you want to gamble, hold Littell through it, banking on the splitter’s presence. Personally, I’d rather not.

Ben Brown (CHC) @ MIL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Duuuuuuude! This is your Gold Star for the night as I didn’t think Brown had a 10-strikeout game in him, let alone the leash to face enough batters to grant him the chance. He shouldn’t have been pulled! Six outs left for a no-hitter! Uhhh he’s a rookie arm the Cubs want to have for a while, who isn’t properly stretched out, and would have needed ~120 pitches to get that done. Not a chance y’all. ANYWAY, this was a game of Brown’s four-seamer overpowering more than I usually see, with the Brewers’ passivity being their downfall as Brown returned a ridiculous 17/61 called strikes on the heater, setting up – get this – the best curveball I’ve seen from him all year. We’re talking 10/32 whiffs with some gorgeous hooks down to constantly befuddle batters. In fact, I thought he was going get through the first without throwing one until he uncorked a hammer to strikeout Yelich. This is the ceiling for Brown as he lacks a third pitch and relies on the heater’s called strikes given its low SwStr rate, but clearly we’re giving it a whirl against the Reds next. I can’t help but wonder if the Cubs elect to shorten that start a touch to not overwork him after going 93 pitches here, FWIW. I don’t think this is a budding ace with the small arsenal and lack of fastball whiffs + routine curveball command woes, but this was dope and made us feel dope.

Jake Irvin (WSN) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

WHAT. Y’all realize he had a 19% strikeout rate on the year prior to this start, right? Not a single start above six strikeouts and what does Irvin do? Oh I don’t know, spot his four-seamer brilliantly at the top of the zone. He did the Ober, using his great extension to excel upstairs at 94 mph, with his curveball landing in the zone plenty + the occasional sinker and cutter to surprise upstairs. It makes sense, but it’s rooted in that four-seamer command that just isn’t the norm for Irvin. Look, it was a five-start run of a 3.07 ERA and 0.85 WHIP before this game…but also a 17% strikeout rate in that time with a .213 BABIP. This screams  Vargas Rule at best, which I really don’t want to do in Cleveland. But this was Atlanta! Moreso, this was the peak of Irvin. I can’t see these skills holding.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ SFG (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That heater is arguably the best in baseball. He’s a machine + his sweeper went 10/10 strikes and with only one put in play. Fun stuff.

Mitch Spence (OAK) @ TBR (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches.

That’s a solid line from Spence, especially across 98 pitches as Oakland pushed him in this one. I watched it and while there’s something to be said about the difficulty hitting 91 mph cutters and lively sliders coming in 7 mph slower, it was awfully boring. I feel like batters will move up in the box against him in future starts and look for the pair, ignoring the 92-95 mph sinkers completely (after all, he threw just six of them this game). Feels like a true Blame it on the Rays in this one.

Erik Miller (SFG) vs PHI (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 20 pitches.

This was a bullpen game with Spencer Howard getting the bulk of four innings across just 49 pitches. It was the standard 60% fastball approach we’ve seen over the years from Howard, but at least all his secondaries combined for a 48% CSW, you know? That’s nice.

Kyle Gibson (STL) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ha, sure. You do you Gibson, feel free to continue giving few indications of when you’re actually in a position to excel in the future. He’s a Cherry Bomb in its purest, and thus most frustrating, sense.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ CHW (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace on a day where he went 9/21 splitter strikes. Blame it on the White Sox – the heater did all the work over the plate and it’s nice to face a team that doesn’t know what to do with them.

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

You too?! Dang, what a day for over-the-top dope outings I didn’t expect. We could Blame it on the Mariners if we want, but I have to give Brown props for getting sliders, curves, and splitters over the plate while he landed many high sinkers perfectly upstairs. That said, some of those slider strikeouts were…not pretty as they landed comfortably in the zone unscathed as batters simply enjoyed the breeze. I’m not sure I’m in against Minnesota up next – I think the Seattle bats influenced this one more than usual.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 111 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That Gallows Pole is due to some legit BSB work as Peralta was able to wear down the upper half of the zone with four-seamers while keeping his slider and changeup down all game. After many starts of unnerving me with his overall command, it’s lovely seeing peak Peralta return. We missed you.

Tyler Glasnow (LAD) @ NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s strange to see just four curves and his four-seamer struggled to earn strikes (55% strike rate is an odd sight from Glasnow) but the slider is still glorious and we love the final line. That’s what aces do.

Luis Castillo (SEA) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s been so dope outside of those first two starts and his trio of four-seamers, sliders, and changeups all had their own section of the zone in this one. I love it.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ LAA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 88 pitches.

The Angels are generally solid against LHP and Cortes battled his way into the sixth and put himself in position for a Win. Stupid bullpen being normal and not perfect every time. Not the best overall performance from Cortes, though he’s at 92/93 mph and that’s a cool thing. I wish he could do better than a combined 21% CSW between his four-seamer and cutter though. A man can dream. Sometimes with a cat waking them up in the middle of it. Hey, I’m just trying to make it realistic. But it’s a dream, Nick. YOU’RE A DREAM. Thanks..?

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) vs KCR (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Instead of being a command arm, SWR elected to go slider heavy and hope for the best, mixing in rare four-seamers over the plate as a mix-up pitch. Seriously, he’s turned into an Anthony DeSclafani clone over night and while that’s not the worst thing (hey, he got a Win!), it doesn’t make for a legit starter in my book. You can do better, especially with the Astros ahead.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 37 pitches.

Oh snap, you actually returned! It was a Still ILL as expected and the Rangers are electing to take it slow and toss him out here for his rehab games. Here’s the weird part – Andrew Heaney appeared for 41 pitches after. Does that mean he’s still starting on Friday? Maybe? It’s possible this replaced his regular bullpen session, but that seems far-fetched like a Pokemon that is actually just a bird who likes a spring onion. Wow, what creativity. Both arms seem like avoids for the short term and sadly we don’t get to keep Eovaldi on the IL anymore as he gets stretched out per every other starter’s journey back to the rotation. Baseball, you cruel cruel mistress.

Jose Quintana (NYM) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

A PQS against the Dodgers is a fantastic result for Quintana and it’s possible he can make it work against the Nationals up next, too. But his changeup had a 33% strike rate. Okay, just the changeup was off. And the four-seamer had a 43% strike rate. OKAY I GET IT. Probably best not to chase it.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ SDP (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

You only got four strikeouts out of this one, enduring a VPQS for those who don’t celebrate. Thing is, his command was pretty dang good with heaters upstairs, sinkers down, and changeups + sliders rarely making mistakes. 1/29 four-seamer whiffs feel like the main issue here, but still, we’ve seen far worse versions of Luzardo.

Griffin Canning (LAA) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yeah, kinda expected against the Yankees, though I’m surprised the four-seamer got more of a focus than the breakers. He showed generally decent command save for an array of hittable changeups and friends down the pipe. It hints at a decent game ahead vs. the Mariners that you shouldn’t overlook for a stream on a desperate Sunday.

Cole Ragans (KCR) @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. That WHIP is a killer and he allowed five of his nine hits on two-strike pitches. Ugh, they must have been huge mistakes, right? Not in the slightest. I’m shocked to see just two cutters from Ragans in total + only eight sliders (well, 3/8 strikes, so understandable there), making this mostly four-seamer/change once again, especially with his curveball still struggling to be a reliable strike pitch. Yes, his heater and slowball are legit pitches, but he’s not Ragans without that slider and cutter cooking. Does that mean he’s a Cherry BombDon’t you dare. The fact that his downfall is getting Singled Out when not at his peak outlines the solid floor we’re working with. He may need to come out of Tier 1 on The List for as long as that cutter and slider are not present, but he’s still an AGA. Expect greatness.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 90 pitches.

The Orioles, ya know? At least Bello’s changeup was back to form with 10/31 whiffs and he settled down well after a grueling first frame. He’s looking as complete of a pitcher we’ve seen all year and ready to dominate the Tigers up next. I’m excited for it.

Jake Woodford (CHW) vs TOR (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

Didn’t expect the Amish Mustang to show up, but Clevinger hit the IL and the White Sox are in panic mode to find starters once again. More importantly, looks like Nick Nastrini has a longer leash now and that’s cool. What about Jake? Oh right. Him. Uhhhh, he’s sweeper focused hoping for called strikes on the sinker like a far worse Brady Singer on a poor club. That sounds bad. Yeah, no electricity and it’ll get you nowhere.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) @ TEX (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hey, at least it’s just one HR instead of the horrors of 2023, right? And you even earned seven four-seamer whiffs! Man, I wish I could believe that was a consistent thing.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs BOS (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

King Cole and 18 whiffs with 10 strikeouts that help the medicine go down for this Dusty Donut. 4 ER across his first two frames made this look rough at first, but he went berserk after and FINALLY kept his four-seamer tightly spotted upstairs for 12/57 whiffs. Sliders and changeups were mostly low as well, though there’s still a bit more focus to be had spotting those pitches regularly. As long as this fastball can stay upstairs, the foundation is set for Grayson to dominate across the next four months.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.

That line looks horrible at first and I can so easily just tell y’all to keep avoiding sticks over here, but he also earned 9 strikeouts and 17 whiffs. We’re talking 9/32 curveball whiffs at a 50% CSW and 91 mph four-seamers. But fine, Blame it on the Rockies and avoid the Royals next. It’s too dangerous to go alone with McKenzie.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Is it over? Yes, Brad. It’s over. With so many intriguing performances tonight, I don’t see why you’d hold onto Abbott instead. Go shopping, y’all.

Ryan Feltner (COL) vs CLE (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 78 pitches.

Mmm. Mmhmm. Yep. Can I go now?


Game of the Day


MacKenzie Gore vs. Spencer Schwellenbach – Yes, Jones v. Skubal was rained out and will be played today instead, but I’m stoked for this game. Gore is dope and I’m awfully curious how Mr. Crescendo will perform in his MLB debut. Huge props to anyone who follows my logic with that nickname.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Playback.tv livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Megill, My Beating Heart”

  1. Doug says:

    Trying to explain why Cole Ragans wasn’t in peak form, yet not mentioning the rain… Why?

  2. Chris Mal says:

    You forgot the “…pew, pew!” in the Ragans blurb. I live for that part. Don’t disappoint me in the future.

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